Average Settlement for Car Accident Back and Neck Injury
The average settlement for car accident back and neck injury range from $100,000 to $500,000. However, severe neck and back injuries can affect the average settlement amount, especially if they require extensive medical attention and ongoing rehabilitation.
Back and neck injuries are among the most common injuries from car accidents. Hospitals see approximately 869,000 cervical spine injuries due to traffic crashes each year. These injuries can significantly impact your quality of life and leave you with high medical bills and permanent disability.
If you have been in a car accident and suffered a back or neck injury, explore what factors determine the settlement amount. Learn how you can maximize your lower back pain car accident settlement with a St. Petersburg car accident lawyer from Emerson Straw Injury Law.
What Affects the Average Settlement for Back and Neck Injuries in Car Accidents?
Several factors influence the average settlement for car accident back and neck injury, including the severity of your injury and the insurance coverage limitations of all liable parties involved. Understanding these factors can help you negotiate with insurance companies and ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries.
Severity and Nature of Your Injury
The severity of back and neck injuries is critical in determining your past medical expenses and future costs for medical care, therapy, and assistance devices in your settlement. Soft tissue injuries such as muscle and tendon strains in an arm or leg may only require rest, ice packs, compression, and elevation of the body part.
Serious injuries, such as spinal cord injuries, may require extensive care. For example, a spinal cord injury can result in medical expenses ranging from $290 to $612,590 for acute care. If you have a suspected spinal cord injury following a motor vehicle accident, you may need emergency surgery to remove any fractured bone fragments and herniated discs and prevent further damage to the spinal cord.
Ongoing Medical Care
Living with a spinal cord injury requires rehabilitation and physical therapy to build independent skills and improve your quality of life. Inpatient rehabilitation for a spinal cord injury may range from $19,360 to $443,040.
For ongoing medical expenses after a spinal cord injury, the first year costs $32,240 to $1,156,400, with subsequent years costing $4,490 to $251,450. Assistive or adaptive devices such as walkers, leg braces, or wheelchairs help with mobility. If you have tetraplegia or paralysis in your upper and lower body, you need adaptive devices to write, type, and use the telephone.
Lost Wages and Loss of Earning Capacity
The time you stay in the hospital can affect how much income you lost due to your injury from the car collision. An average hospital stay for a patient with a spinal cord injury is 12 days. Patients aged 18 to 29 stayed in the hospital for an average of 13.5 days, while patients aged 60 and older stayed an average of 10 days.
The settlement you receive should reflect your future earning capacity if your injuries and ongoing rehabilitation make it impossible for you to work. This compensation is intended to cover the money you would have earned over your life had you not been injured.
Pain and Suffering
The sudden loss of mobility, bodily functions, and independence experienced by back and neck injuries affects mental health. A spinal cord injury can lead to depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. A study of 443 spinal cord patients found that 48.5% suffered from mental health disorders. Their quality of life was lower, and they experienced more distress than the general population.
Your settlement can include non-economic damages for pain and suffering from a back or neck injury. A St. Augustine lawyer from Emerson Straw Injury Law can assist you with calculating these damages.
Insurance Policy Limitations
All Florida vehicles must have personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability (PDL) of at least $10,000. You can submit a claim with your auto insurance company to obtain compensation for your medical expenses after an accident.
If you sustained severe back and neck injuries, you can seek compensation from the other driver if your injuries result in one of the following conditions:
- Permanent loss of a significant physical function
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Reasonable permanent injury, excluding disfigurement or scarring
Florida uses the comparative negligence rule, meaning any percentage of fault on your part in the accident and injuries could reduce your compensation. If you pursue a settlement from another driver, their insurer may claim that you were responsible for your damages to try and lower your compensation.
Working with an Emerson Straw Injury Law attorney can help navigate comparative negligence and prove the extent of your injuries. Your attorney can show that the other driver caused your damages and show the emotional and financial effects of the accident on your life. They can refer to your medical records and witness testimonies to negotiate your back and neck injury settlement amount.
How to Establish Severity in Your Back and Neck Injury
Your lawyer can use evidence to demonstrate your claim’s validity to the insurer and prove the other driver’s liability. Several pieces of evidence help determine the average neck and back injury settlement, including:
You can work with your lawyer to gather and save all your medical records and bills from your healthcare providers to support your claim. The documents establish your diagnosis of injuries and confirm that you received treatment after the accident.
Your medical documentation may include:
- Emergency room records
- Medical imaging, including X-rays, CAT scans, and MRIs
- Hospital stays
- Referrals to specialists, such as psychologists
- Medical prescription records
- Physical therapy appointments
- Fuel and parking costs associated with traveling to and from medical appointments
- Assistive devices like leg braces and wheelchairs
- Home modifications
Your medical records may include notes from healthcare professionals about the psychological impact of the injuries on your daily life, such as limitations on activities or mobility. These notes can help demonstrate your pain and suffering from your injuries and show you sought mental health treatment.
Expert Medical Testimony
Your lawyer can refer to their network of expert medical witnesses to provide testimony. An expert’s testimony connects your injuries to the motor vehicle accident and details your injuries’ severity to an insurance adjuster. They can also discuss the treatment plan for your back and neck injury, including regular rehabilitation, physical therapy, and assistive devices.
Journal of Your Medical Treatment
A medical treatment journal can be invaluable in demonstrating the severity of your injuries following a car accident. Writing about your symptoms and degree of pain and suffering from your back and neck injuries can show the accident’s impact on your life.
You can also include information about your emotional struggles resulting from your injury. Your attorney can use a journal that documents these experiences to determine how much your non-economic losses are worth in a settlement.
Speak with a Florida Car Accident Lawyer
If you were involved in a car accident and suffered back and neck injuries, Emerson Straw Injury Law has extensive experience handling personal injury claims. We consider the average settlement for car accident back and neck injury and factor all the medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering into your compensation.
Our lawyers have a track record of success with car accident cases, and we will take your case to trial if necessary.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn how the average settlement for a car accident back and neck injury may affect your case.
What should I do if I believe I have a neck or back injury after a car accident?
Visit your doctor for an assessment if you experience back pain, sharp neck pain, or headaches after your accident. The doctor will examine you and provide a treatment plan for your recovery. You should also consider speaking with a lawyer if you sustained a permanent injury like a spinal cord injury.
How much is my neck and back injury settlement?
When determining your settlement, your lawyer considers all medical costs, such as ambulance services, surgical procedures, prescription drugs, physical therapy, and house modifications. Our team can ensure you receive the compensation you deserve by considering all these expenses.
What is my lawyer’s method to calculate my pain and suffering for my settlement?
A multiplier ranging from 1.5 to 5 times the total cost can determine compensation for pain and suffering. Your lawyer may also assign a dollar amount for each day between the moment of injury and when you reach maximum medical improvement.